Volunteers are the lifeblood of most nonprofit organizations and the same is true at the National Corvette Museum. Many of you not only volunteer your time during our Museum events, but you also work the Corvette Store at car shows across the country, plan Corvette Club group visits to volunteer, and even visit us multiple times throughout the year – just to help out around the Museum. Randy Pierce and Charla Heintz and two such people who come to Bowling Green, simply to help out where they can around the Museum.
“I got to know Randy and Charla when they started volunteering at the Museum,” said Betty Hardison, Library & Archives Coordinator. “That was probably 10-15 years ago. There’s no telling how many hours they spend here. They come at least 6-8 times a year for a week at a time just to volunteer.”
Betty shared that you’ll often find them in the Corvette Store working, but that Randy also picks up oversized items across the country, typically things people have donated, and delivers them to the Museum. “He picked up several pallets of little model Corvettes in Pennsylvania; about 2,600 automotive magazines in New York… he goes anywhere for us,” Betty added.
Gary Cockriel, Development Officer for the Museum, reiterated Randy and Charla’s commitment. “I don’t think we’ve ever called on them, and they not help us do something. Ever.” Gary shared that while Randy and Charla will volunteer for the Museum, they also are Lifetime Members, have loaned cars for display, are in the Duntov Society, participated in R8C Museum Deliveries and an Xperience, have Walk of Fame bricks, and more.
Randy came to Betty in January when he and Charla were volunteering at the Museum and told her he had a surprise. “He said he was going to be donating their 2007 Ron Fellows Edition Z06 Corvette to the Museum during the April Bash event, but he wanted to surprise everyone.” Betty said that with the car being a Special Edition, they didn’t drive it much to keep the miles low.
“I figured because this one is such a unique car, it’s a numbered car… we might as well donate it now and get some fun out of it being down there,” Randy said. “It’s probably the only one of that edition to be donated to the Museum, and we will get more pleasure out of it being down at the Museum.”
The 2007 Ron Fellows Special Edition Z06 was created to honor the famed American LeMans Series GT1 racer, and was the first signed limited edition in Corvette history. It was Arctic White with Monterey Red front fender stripes, and had a unique interior and exterior trim. Only 399 were built, including 300 for the U.S., 33 for Canada and 66 for other markets.
“This is a rare edition and we are excited to have it for display,” said Betty. “It is with the help of Randy and Charla and other Museum supporters that we are able to continue preserving the history of Corvette. Their car will be enjoyed by visitors for many years to come.”
“It’s part of our life anymore, the Corvette family,” Randy added. “We enjoy everyone at the Museum and the Museum itself, all the people that come with it, the volunteers and employees.”
Thanks to Randy and Charla not only for this generous donation, but for their on-going support of the Museum!